Investing in Our Spiritual Lives
The theme of the stewardship campaign this year is “Investing in Our Spiritual Lives.” All of us understand that the important areas of life require financial investment—whether it be the education of our children, care of our homes, saving for retirement, or staying physically fit. The same is true of our spiritual lives, which put us in touch with God, provide us with a firm moral foundation for our lives, and give us a sense of meaning and purpose. Pledging to St. Andrew’s is about investing in our spiritual lives by financially supporting the church community that helps guide and enrich us, especially through the work of the clergy and staff, our beautiful building, and our many ministries. Our pledge is also a way of expressing gratitude to God for all the blessings we have received in our lives. As Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Chair, 2019 stewardship committee
A pledge to St. Andrew’s is a financial promise and commitment to support our parish and its missions in the coming year. Your pledge is an act of faith that connects you more deeply to our church. Many find spiritual joy in making a generous pledge to support God’s work through the church. While pledges guide our budget for the year, they can be adjusted, up or down, if your circumstances change.
From a practical viewpoint, stewardship is a shared responsibility and duty that we undertake to care for and maintain our parish and its missions. It is the combined energy and financial support of families and individual members that make possible all that we are and do as a parish. Pledges and gifts provide roughly 76% of the funds for our annual parish budget.
In 2019 we will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the parish. We want to give thanks and celebrate the past and look forward to a great future by Investing in our Spiritual Lives. We are asking parishioners to help keep St. Andrew’s well-resourced as we move into our 125th year. Some of our specific goals include the following:
- Continue to broaden our pledge base.
- Continue to reduce our dependency on the annual draw from the endowment account.
- Continue to fund outreach giving.
- Maintain current staffing levels.
- Finally, continue to run a world-class church.
- $1,025,000 in pledges. $1.025M works well with our 125th anniversary! This is approximately a 4.5% increase from last year’s pledges.
- Participation from 300 households. This is approximately a 3.5% increase.
No, we don’t—it’s the other way around! Episcopal churches are usually financially independent, raising most of their operating funds from members. Unlike some churches (e.g., Roman Catholic), we are not funded from the top down. Your pledges or gifts go directly to our parish, and we are then charged an annual assessment to help fund the diocese, supporting it and the missions of the Episcopal Church throughout the world. This assessment (about $132,640 in 2017) is the second largest line item in our budget.
There are three easy ways to make your pledge:
- Mail your pledge card to the church office.
- Drop your pledge card in the plate during the offertory any Sunday up to Commitment Sunday, November 4.
- Pledge online on this website on the “Making a Pledge” tab.
Timely pledges are essential for prudent budgeting and planning for the coming year. Please make your pledge by Commitment Sunday, November 4, 2018.
We all receive many requests from worthwhile charities and organizations—but remember that St. Andrew’s depends on a relatively small number of pledges (~300) for the majority of its budget. Please give St. Andrew’s a high place in your annual giving, and make a pledge that feels to you like a major gift!
This is a very personal decision, but there are guiding principles. The Biblical tithe of 10% of income is a worthy goal, and some members joyfully reach this pinnacle. At St. Andrew’s, we suggest an initial goal of 2% of income, and encourage you to move up in increments of 1% of income towards a full (or fuller) tithe. Our average gift in 2018 was $3000.
Whatever level of giving you are at, we ask that you consider increasing your pledge for 2019, making the most generous pledge you can. You can see the general distribution of pledges for 2018 in the chart below. We encourage you to examine the chart below, examine your heart, and if you are able, Step Up for 2019!
Click the images below to for an enlarged view.